Saudi Arabia and Iran have summoned representatives of Swedish diplomatic missions after another desecration of the Koran in Sweden on Thursday. The Scandinavian country is facing the wrath of several countries in the Muslim world for authorizing the holding of demonstrations hostile to Islam.
Sweden in full diplomatic turbulence. Saudi Arabia and Iran have summoned the representatives of the Swedish missions in their countries to terminate the permission that Stockholm has given for the desecration of the Koran.
“A protest note, particularly calling on the Swedish authorities to take all immediate and necessary measures to put an end to these shameful acts”, will be delivered to the Swedish charge d’Affaires, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Thursday evening.
Riyadh was reacting to a new act of desecration of the Koran approved Thursday by Swedish authorities in front of the Iraqi embassy in Stockholm, organized by an Iraqi refugee in Sweden who repeatedly trampled and tore a copy of the book, without setting it on fire as he had announced.
By the end of June, he had already burned a few pages of a copy of the Koran in front of the main mosque in Stockholm, which coincided with the start of the Eid al-Adha holiday and the end of the annual hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, which triggered strong diplomatic reactions in the Muslim world, especially in Riyadh.
Iraq on Thursday ordered the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador and recalled its own representative to Sweden in response to the new desecration of the Koran in Stockholm, an initiative that also led to an assault on the Baghdad embassy, which was set on fire by protesters.
The Iraqi authorities have also announced that they are suspending the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson’s license in the country.
Planned demonstrations in Iran
Another country in the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran, on Thursday night summoned the Swedish ambassador in Tehran and called on Stockholm to stop allowing the desecration of the Koran.
“We strongly condemn the repeated desecration of the Holy Quran… in Sweden and hold the Swedish government responsible for the consequences of provoking the feelings of Muslims around the world,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani.
“Any insult to religious shrines and holy books, anywhere and by anyone, is condemned,” he said.
In addition, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said he had sent a letter to the UN Secretary General condemning the desecration of the Koran and asking him to “immediately condemn this act and take the necessary measures as soon as possible to prevent its repetition”.
Iranian authorities have called for demonstrations across the country after Friday prayers to condemn the “desecration of the Holy Quran”, according to the state television channel.
In Beirut, the leader of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, demanded the expulsion of the Swedish ambassador to Lebanon on Thursday evening and called for demonstrations. “This is the minimum requirement,” added the leader of the powerful Shiite Muslim party.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) spoke of a “new provocative act”, its secretary-general, Hissein Brahim Taha, called on Stockholm to “stop issuing permits (for assemblies, ed.) to extremist groups and individuals”.